Raspberry Pi Trading has plans for a London listing in the spring, according to a report published by the Daily Telegraph this weekend. In preparation for the listing, the company has hired bankers from Stifel and Liberum, say people in the know. £33m was raised by Raspberry Pi Trading as recently as September. If the IPO follows the same calculations as the raise, the company will hit the FTSE Small Cap Index with a valuation of £370m (US$493m), but it is likely to be floated at a premium to the public. For reference, at around the same market cap, you will find the likes of Stagecoach Group, Hollywood Bowl Group, and Saga plc.
The Cambridge-based trading company saw already buoyant demand for its diminutive single-board computers (SBCs) given a boost during the numerous pandemic-inspired lockdowns. Raspberry Pi Trading secured profits of £11.4m after sales hit a record 7.1m units last year. It exports about 90 per cent of its products.
Even with the significant private raise of £33m in its back pocket, Raspberry Pi Trading might be wise to strike while the iron is hot. Earlier in the year, co-founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation and now CEO of Raspberry Pi Trading, Ebon Upton, told the Telegraph that he was looking carefully at funding the business for a secure future. At the time, Upton teased that “we have great plans for what we are going to do over the next five years.”
Foundation or Trading company?
The Raspberry Pi Foundation, formed in 2009, is a registered charity with a goal of putting “the power of computing and digital making into the hands of people all over the world.” The famous eponymous SBC was designed to be affordable and champion programming in schools, hoping to repeat the home computer boom of the 1980s. Raspberry Pi Trading Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary responsible for the engineering and trading operations of the foundation.
Recent Raspberry Pi advances
RasPi news watchers will be aware of the recent significant commercial exploits of the company. For example, it launched the all-in-one Raspberry Pi 400 a year ago (see video above), a wedge-like form factor echoing classic home computers like the Atari ST, Commodore Amiga, and Acorn Archimedes models. Another significant moment for the company, at the start of 2021, was the launch of the first “Raspberry Silicon,” the RP2040 microcontroller.